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Friday 23 March 2012

Pardew focused on strong Newcastle finish

Magpies boss calls on players to repeat early-season form ahead of WBA trip

West Brom defeated Newcastle at the Sports Direct Arena back in December

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has called on his side to repeat their early-season form as they enter the final matches of the Barclays Premier League season.

The Magpies have had a superb campaign and are currently sixth in the League table, only two points behind fifth-placed Chelsea.

They have stumbled of late but returned to winning ways against Norwich last weekend, their first victory in five matches.

And ahead of Sunday's contest at West Bromwich Albion, Pardew has called on his side to produce another string of results to ensure they finish the campaign strongly.

"We have generally done pretty well against Newcastle in home games - but we know it will be a tough match"
- Keith Downing

"We are pretty much focused on the nine games which remain," said Pardew.

"It's a quarter of the season and we need to finish as well as we have done in the first three quarters, because we have been excellent.

"The players' attitude and application has been first class and if we can do that for nine more games, we might surprise ourselves."

If Newcastle were to win at the Hawthorns, the Magpies would reach the 50 point mark for the first time since the 2005/06 campaign.

"It would be a hell of an achievement - but I still think it's a long call that because winning at West Brom, when you look at their home record, is going to be tough," added Pardew.

"But we are capable of it and we are going to try to do that.”

The Baggies recorded a 3-2 victory over Newcastle earlier in the season and a win for West Brom this weekend would give them their first League double over the Magpies for 34 years.

“We played really well up at Newcastle," West Brom assistant boss Keith Downing told the club's official website.

"It was probably one of our best away performances and this could be the second team we do the double over.

"We have generally done pretty well against Newcastle in home games - but we know it will be a tough match.

"They came back with a decent result last weekend against Norwich after four indifferent ones and they have a threat."

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Key Points

  • Alan Pardew has called on Newcastle to have a strong finish to the season
  • The Magpies travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday
  • Baggies aiming for their first League double over Newcastle for 34 years